Alison Paprica

PhD (Western University)
Honours BSc (McMaster University)
PMP (Project Management Institute)

Research Interests

Public Engagement, Data Governance, Health Policy, Knowledge Translation, the Leadership and Management of Research as a research topic

Professional Interests

For several decades, my career has focused on identifying and capitalizing on shared interests between academic institutions, government departments and agencies, and commercial organizations. Over time, my research focus has shifted from my trained discipline of biophysical chemistry to health sciences, population health, and social sciences. Most recently, my focus has been on infrastructure and governance for data-intensive health research, and on patient and public engagement in research. I am also interested in understanding how and why research projects and large-scale academic initiatives succeed.


  • Co-leadership of initiatives under Canada’s Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research (SPOR), including serving as a member of the Executive for the $ 81 million SPOR National Data Platform and the Interim Director Partnerships to help start up the $100 million Ontario SPOR SUPPORT Unit
  • As the Director responsible for up to $60 million annual applied health research investment, established the current Ontario Ministry of Health Applied Health Research Question (AHRQ) process through which Ontario researchers have responded to over 400 questions posed by policy and decision makers since 2010
  • In partnership with Vector Institute scientists and health stakeholders, developed and implemented Vector’s first health AI strategy including the establishment of the Health AI Data Analysis Platform (HAIDAP) and five Pathfinder Projects focused on health AI application
  • Helping to build project management capacity in the research sector through courses and workshops delivered to over 700 participants
  • Created an internal research evidence service at the Ontario Ministry of Health that produced over 300 evidence-based products including literature reviews, horizon scans, trends reports, and evaluation plans
  • Fellow in the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement EXTRA Program focused on assessing the appropriateness of existing funded health services
  • Task Force and Board Participation
    • Health Data Research UK International Advisory Board(2018 to present)
    • Ontario Genomics Board of Directors(2020 to present)
    • CAMH Brainhealth Databank Scientific Advisory Committee (2020 – present)
    • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons Task Force on AI and Emerging Technologies(2019-2020)
    • CIFAR AI4H Task Force(2019-2020)



Additional Recent Publications

Contributed to almost 300 rapid and preliminary literature reviews prepared by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Planning Unit, each one in direct response to a request from a policy team (no website available at this time for collection, certain example reports are available online)

Advice or Advocacy? A Real-time Qualitative Study of Participant Views CAHSPR Conference Panel Session - May 30, 2018

Externally Informed Annual Health Trends Report – editions 1-4

EXTRA Project Report

Essential requirements for establishing and operating data trusts: practical guidance based on a working meeting of fifteen Canadian organizations and initiatives, PA Paprica, E Sutherland, A Smith, M Brudno, RG Cartagena, M Crichlow, International Journal of Population Data Science 5 (1), 2020

Multiple articles for non-academic audiences in The Conversation including: The public needs to know why health data are used without consent, Health data collected during the coronavirus pandemic needs to be managed responsibly and What the public hopes and fears about the use of AI in health care.